Dave Ramsey Wants You to Skip These Holiday Expenses. Is He Right?

Dave Ramsey Wants You to Skip These Holiday Expenses. Is He Right?

A woman in a festive sweater wrapping gifts.

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Could you end the holidays with more money in your pocket by forgoing these things?

Key points

  • The holiday season can be a costly time of the year, but there are some expenses you may decide to avoid.
  • Dave Ramsey recommends avoiding extended warranties and using store credit cards for purchases.
  • He also notes that electronics aren’t personal or meaningful enough to be holiday gifts, but you can often find a good deal on these expensive items during holiday sales.

Spending money seems to go hand-in-hand with celebrating the holidays. In fact, it’s really easy to end up blowing your budget and charging a ton of stuff on your credit cards because you get caught up in the magic of the season.

You don’t necessarily have to drain your bank account, though — and one way to avoid that is to consider whether a particular holiday purchase is really worth making. If you aren’t sure how to start cutting costs, this advice from finance expert Dave Ramsey on holiday expenses to skip could potentially help you out.

Should you avoid these holiday costs?

Dave Ramsey identified a number of holiday costs that you can skip this season. These include:

  • Extended warranties: Ramsey says these are “almost always a terrible idea” since they are expensive and often don’t end up covering much. He warns that stores push them aggressively because they are big money-makers, and that you should just say no.
  • Store credit cards: Ramsey explained many stores try to entice you into opening a card by offering you a percentage off your purchase — but warned these cards can end up costing you in the long run if you don’t pay the balance off in full or if you have to spend more later to use the “rewards” they offer.
  • Expensive electronics: Ramsey says electronics are costlier purchases than most people should make, and that you’d be better off buying “more personalized, meaningful and affordable gifts” instead.
  • Gift-wrapping services: Instead of paying for professionals to wrap gifts, Ramsey recommends doing it yourself by picking up materials and supplies at your local dollar store. He also said you could save even more by getting creative and using brown bags or butcher paper you decorate yourself.
  • Overnight shipping: Ramsey advised avoiding this unnecessary additional expense by planning ahead in making your purchases. “Santa’s on a tight schedule, and he doesn’t have time to sit around and wait for your last-minute order,” Ramsey warned. “Even his Christmas magic can’t clear up the trouble with supply chain issues (yep, that’s still a thing). So plan ahead! If you do, you won’t have to worry about those overnight shipping rates.”

Should you follow Dave Ramsey’s advice?

Ramsey is absolutely correct that there is no reason to waste money on things like gift wrapping or rush shipping. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to wrap gifts yourself or use gift bags from the dollar store if you truly don’t have an ounce of craftiness in you. And there’s absolutely no reason to pay the inflated prices to get gifts to your door fast if you make a budget and a shopping list early on.

Extended warranties are also a rip-off you should avoid throughout the year (especially if you get a credit card that offers an extended warranty as a perk). And store cards do come with high interest rates and often poor rewards programs, so they should be avoided despite the deals that shops offer to get you to sign up.

As for the electronics, that’s a tougher call. The holiday season does provide the chance to get good deals on big-name items, and if those are truly the gifts your loved ones want, then you may decide they deserve a place under your tree. Just be sure to check out the features and shop carefully to get the best price if you’ll be buying any gadgets this festive season.

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